Well, I suppose I can finally talk about this now...
Desmond Shang has announced Caledonia, Caledon's "colony" in Blue Mars. Reactions about the upcoming 4 million sq m Caledonia have ranged from "What?!" to "Oooo" to "Whatever." Its preview will be available in a few days. As Caledon is one of SL's significant "showcase" regions and he is one of its most well-known land owners, this is a big deal.
I've been a part of this project since May and for me, it has been interesting to see the evolution of a brand new virtual world. I've been exploring Blue Mars in general due to the fact that checking out other virtual worlds is what I like to do. I will not sit here and tout it as the end all to be all, because as I have said in previous posts, it still has quite a long way to go until it's truly ready for primetime. In the meantime though, it is the possibility of what it can do that is intriguing.
Will Blue Mars be a SL killer? No. I don't think so. SL has more danger of killing themselves off due to their company's practices and general perception than another virtual world popping up. And I seriously doubt SL is going to go anywhere for quite a while. Its draw--as it was for me and for others who are content creators--is still the ability for anyone to be able to make something using its built-in tools. I've always loved SL and still believe in its possibilities as well. Those who like SL will continue to be in SL, or they might be like me and check out both worlds. Right now, the two worlds are like apples and oranges and it's still way too early to guess at an impact one way or the other. In the meantime, can't blame a person for checking out the other options out there.